STILL LIFE 126 – WHITE CAR

 

 


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The dominance of the private car in modern society but, as a driver myself, who am I to express an adverse opinion?  Still, there are many here for whom using public transport is largely unthinkable, quite close to anathema really, while walking any distance is at best infrequent.  I’m not sure I’m writing these words as any great Green or Health activist, but one thing I am sure about is that walking allows me to see, sense and experience so much more in my surroundings which, to me, is a distinctly desirable thing.  And photography, of course, fires my curiosity, keeps me looking at things, all sorts of things, which is equally desirable.

And, talking of photography, here are the effects of using a very wide angle lens tilted downwards towards the subject – the car pushes and swells right up to the front of the picture to get a better look at us, while the buildings in the backdrop tilt nightmarishly, like something from a Surrealist artwork.

Click onto the image to open another version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it.

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 17mm (equiv); Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; King Street, central Bristol; 28 Apr 2017.
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PEOPLE 280 – CITY LIFE

 

 


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City life – faces, images, media, messages, noise; hurrying, multitasking, crowding in close, claustrophobically close; all around.

There are two little bits of the Natural World in this photo.  She is at lower right and hurrying to get through it all, and the sky is at upper right, calm, serene, and tainted only by our fumes and emissions.  And the rest is, well, the rest.

Photographically, I enjoy the city, I love being there with a camera, this human environment has so much of interest to the lens.  But in other terms, to me, the ability to access peace and quiet is one of the most valuable things on this planet.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto the enlarged image to enlarge it yet again – recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 30mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; Temple Gate, central Bristol; 28 Apr 2017.
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STILL LIFE 125 – CIDER CAN

 

 


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Unfortunately empty can on a rotated pavement.

When I grew up in Somerset and took my first, wondering steps towards the Electric Soup, pints of cider were the obvious – the almost religiously ordained – choice.  Strong drinks, sometimes rather rough, and producing dreadful hangovers – but still wonderful!  I drink more beer now, especially Belgian beer, and following a really dreadful experience with a blended vintage cider, last year I think it was, most ciders are no longer attractive – although two litre flagons of Westons strong, still and cloudy Old Rosie do still shake my tree.

Drinking cider became very fashionable a few years back, and this empty can contained one of the relatively bland, modern, mass market ciders, Thatchers Gold – but still, not at all bad, especially on a hot day.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it yet again.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise; Old Market Roundabout, central Bristol; 26 May 2017.
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STILL LIFE 124 – MORNING SUNLIGHT

 

 


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Slivers of morning sunlight on a city centre façade.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it yet again.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 113mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; Narrow Lewins Mead, Bristol; 26 May 2017.
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ARCHIVE 297 – AUTUMN CARPET (TWO VERSIONS)

 

 


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Our Hazel, dark and massive and still with a few pale leaves, stands proud of its autumn carpet; 18 Nov 2013.

The extreme wideangle lens is pointing downwards, and the leaves in the foreground appear to be close under the camera.  Everything left of centre leans out towards the left, and everything to the right (including our fence, top right) vice versa.

I think I prefer the colour version here, its how it was or, rather, its what I saw through the viewfinder – and I love this garden and its autumn colours.

The mono version is quite different.  Its much darker, its really built around darkness, darkness that is cut / illuminated by those white leaves, both sprinkled across the ground and still hanging from the tree.  Both versions would benefit from larger reproduction I think, the mono version more so.

Which version do you prefer?

Click onto the images to open larger versions in separate windows.

Technique: D800 with Sigma 12-24 lens at 12mm; 800 ISO; the mono version created with Silver Efex Pro 2’s Floral Style preset.

UPDATE: my apologies for not visiting others’ blogs as often as usual, but time is tight at the moment.

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ARCHIVE 295 – TRAILING LEAVES

 

 


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Leaves trailing from a plant pot at The Point, Bristol harbourside; 11 Apr 2004.  

The few green leaves amongst the many leaf shadows on a featureless, bluish ground, are important here – the presence of the colour green definitely enhances the picture. 

Technique: rotated 90 degrees clockwise; OM-4 with 21mm Zuiko lens; Fuji Provia 400 colour slide rated at 3200 ISO. 

UPDATE: Minimalism, less is more; usually better than a cluttered image – the eye knows more what to look at, rather than being confused by masses of detail.  And quite a shock to see that I took this 13 years ago – I used to stalk around Bristol with this wonderfully compact 21mm lens, looking for simplicity, looking too for abstract compositions.  And I loved push-processing colour slide films (the Provia 400 here is being pushed 3 stops: 400 to 800 to 1600 to 3200), to boost the colours and contrast, and to get more grain, as seen here.
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STILL LIFE 123 – PUTTING ABILITY FIRST

 

 

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Snapshot of city life.

The black margin to this image has not been applied with software, it is the outline of a window –  I was standing in one street, and looking right through a building, via its windows, to a scene in the next street.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click again onto this image to enlarge it further.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Classic Chrome film simulation; shot from Rupert Street, central Bristol, looking through a building into Colston Avenue; 19 May 2017.
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STILL LIFE 122 – TEMPLE CIRCUS GYRATORY

 

 


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Early morning driving on the Temple Circus Gyratory, which is a large roundabout at one of the southern approaches to Bristol, near Temple Meads railway station.  Roundabout?  Traffic circle in The States I think.  And the roundabout’s official name?  Well, it could really only have been dreamt up by officials, couldn’t it, by a Local Authority, in the interests no doubt of good urban planning and neutral nomenclature?

And the photo?  Well, its garish, technicolour plus.  The highlights are all blown to featureless white but to me that’s fine because this isn’t reality, this is how I like to see it.

So what gets to me here?  Well, the lines and curves of the blazing white vehicle, which frame the face – cool shades, no-nonsense beard, mouth slightly open – with the thrill of surfing the Gyratory maybe?  And the car’s curving lines also frame the reflections in the car’s windows, which become more colourful over towards the right.  And then, in the backdrop, all those technicolour stripes.  And no, before you ask, I haven’t ramped up the colour Saturation in Lightroom, although I did increase the Vibrance to +65.   Then CEP4 was used to provide a thin black border, to prevent the lower edges of the image merging with my blog’s white background.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and then click onto that larger image to enlarge it yet again.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm; 400 ISO; spotmetering; Lightroom, using the Pro Neg Hi film simulation; Color Efex Pro 4; central Bristol; 7 April 2017.
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PEOPLE 278 – GOING TO WORK 24

 

 


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A poppy for Remembrance – this being the eleventh day of the eleventh month – and a hot drink to ease the start of work on a Friday morning: people walking to work over Bristol Bridge, appearing closely bunched together due to the effect of the telephoto lens.

Poppies for Remembrance,  reflecting the hordes of these red flowers that grew so well on the soils of the battlefields of the First World War, the soils that has been so churned up by artillery shells and the digging of fortifications.    This was the “War To End All Wars”, but of course it was not that at all – and these Bristol workers are within sight of the shell of a church burnt out by incendiaries (which is now preserved as a monument), and another still scarred by shrapnel, from bombing during the 1939-45 conflict.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22  and 23 .  Each will open in a separate window.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it yet again.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; Color Efex Pro 4; Bristol Bridge, central Bristol; 11 Nov 2017.
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PEOPLE 277 – GOING TO WORK 23

 

 


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Red light in the rush hour:  queuing traffic, frustration, cold winter sunshine.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22.  Each will open in a separate window.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it yet again.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); Lightroom; Bristol Bridge, central Bristol; 11 Nov 2016.
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